A total of 137,000 Turkish nationals moved abroad in 2018, representing an increase of 20 percent over the previous year, the Sözcü newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing presidential sources.
Some 30 percent of those who left were residents of İstanbul.
Erdoğan Toprak, an opposition deputy from İstanbul who spoke to the daily, said people who leave seek to become naturalized in another country as they are not satisfied with the way Turkey is run and have grown hopeless about its future.
“The wealthy in particular purchase real estate or invest otherwise in countries such as Greece, Montenegro, Macedonia or Portugal in order to become citizens,” Toprak told Sözcü. “The brain drain has intensified. Our qualified people are fleeing because of this government.”